Thesis: Isaiah had a vision in the year Uzziah the king died (731 BC). In this vision he saw four things that transformed his life and ministry. He had a vision of the Lord in His glory, He had a revelation of his sinful condition, he saw and experience the cleansing power of the Lord. He also saw the world around him in a new way and in a new light.
Isaiah 6:1-6:13: NIV
1In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple.
2Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.
3And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
4At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
5“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”
6Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar.
7With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”
8Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
9He said, “Go and tell this people: “‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’
10Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Other wise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”
11Then I said, “For how long, O Lord?” And he answered: “Until the cities lie ruined and without inhabitant, until the houses are left deserted and the fields ruined and ravaged,
12until the LORD has sent everyone far away and the land is utterly forsaken.
13And though a tenth remains in the land, it will again be laid waste. But as the terebinth and oak leave stumps when they are cut down, so the holy seed will be the stump in the land.”
Isa. 6:1-13 CEV - A Vision of the Lord in the Temple
1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I had a vision of the Lord. He was on his throne high above, and his robe filled the temple.
2Flaming creatures with six wings each were flying over him. They covered their faces with two of their wings and their bodies with two more. They used the other two wings for flying,
3 as they shouted, “Holy, holy, holy, LORD ALL-POWERFUL! The earth is filled with your glory.”
4 As they shouted, the doorposts of the temple shook, and the temple was filled with smoke.
5Then I cried out, “I’m doomed! Everything I say is sinful, and so are the words of everyone around me. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord All-Powerful.”
6One of the flaming creatures flew over to me with a burning coal that it had taken from the altar with a pair of metal tongs.
7It touched my lips with the hot coal and said, “This has touched your lips. Your sins are forgiven, and you are no longer guilty.”
8After this, I heard the Lord ask, “Is there anyone I can send? Will someone go for us?” “I’ll go,” I answered. “Send me!”
9 Then the Lord told me to go and speak this message to the people: “You will listen and listen, but never understand. You will look and look, but never see.” The Lord also said,
10 “Make these people stubborn! Make them stop up their ears, cover their eyes, and fail to understand. Don’t let them turn to me and be healed.”
11Then I asked the Lord, “How long will this last?” The Lord answered: Until their towns are destroyed and their houses are deserted, until their fields are empty,
12and I have sent them far away, leaving their land in ruins.
13If only a tenth of the people are left, even they will be destroyed. But just as stumps remain after trees have been cut down, some of my chosen ones will be left.
What comes to your mind when you hear the phrase, “The king is dead - long live the king!”
It is an historical phrase coined in France and said after the death of a monarch through the streets and the countryside of their realm.
Phil Morgan recalls:
Not too long ago I watched part of a documentary on ABC Television which traced the history of the Royal Family - the House of Windsor. In that program they recounted the passing away of King George VI. In 1952 the sad word went forth from London . . . “THE KING IS DEAD”. King George VI had died in his sleep at the age of 56. He was somewhat of a private man, in comparison with others who’ve held the throne, but he was greatly respected and admired. His reign had carried him through the rigours of World War 2, the election of a socialist government, and the dissolution of much of the British Empire. His tired heart gave way. All across Britain, people flocked to churches to worship, to pray, and to seek comfort and hope.
I guess as I think about this phrase “The King is Dead” I think of Elvis Presley’s death: I still recall the day that it was announced on August 16, 1977 that the king of rock and roll was dead.
Video illustration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZ3MOyCn66w
It stopped everyone in there tracts that day. It was my first summer after graduating. I was working as a laborer in Pittsburgh, Pa. hanging out with the crazy five plus one. The news hit that morning and everyone seemed stunned many in shock and grief. The King was dead. We talked about that night at the place we all hung out at “The old ice cream parlor.” I think for some of us teen in the prime of life we realized that living legends could die. There was the discussion about death and life after death and living your mark in history around the tables. The king was dead but we were all full of life and vigor.
What was Elvis legacy? Did he die a Christian? Many knew that he grew up in an AG Church his mom was an active member at her Assembly of God church. What about Elvis?
Article on the life of Elvis: http://paskewich.typepad.com/paskewichcom/2006/08/was_elvis_presl.html
Elvis knew that God was God and he wasn’t. ’He didn’t like being called ’The King’, says Ray Walker of the Gospel group The Jordanaires that backed Elvis up on many of his hit songs. "The ’king of rock ’n’ roll’ was one thing, but not ’The King’." He said one time, ’There’s only one king, and that’s Jesus Christ.’ He’d be appalled by the Church of Elvis. He knew who he was. He wasn’t fooled." (click here to listen the Jordanaires singing Gospel.)
There are other accounts from the colleagues of Elvis where he would say, "Im not the king, Jesus Christ is the king." He also said it in Vegas.
Elvis has a step brother that became a Christian and he reports that Elvis believed in Jesus. His step brother, David Stanley said, "Elvis read a lot of books, The Impersonal Life, the Shroud of Turin, endless, but he always went back to the Bible."
Elvis had another step-brother, Rick Stanley, who today is a Baptist Evangelist that has spoken in over 4,000 churches. Rick Stanley has written a book, Caught in the Trap where he highlights many of the spiritual events and struggles in Elvis’ life. Stanley recalls when Elvis was in Las Vegas, he asked Evangelist Rex Humbard and his wife to be backstage with him. Elvis dedicated "How Great Thou Art" to Humbard that night. It was then that Elvis knelt down to pray with Humbard and recommitted his life to Christ. Elvis was talking about Jesus being the Truth the night before he died. It was Rex Humbard that conducted Elvis’ funeral.
David Stanley says that fame caused Elvis to be conflicted about just everything in life. "I would sit down on his bed and watch him open the Bible and cry his eyes out ’God give me strength!’ One day he’s taking a handful of drugs, next day he’s praying for forgiveness."
Elvis’ childhood friend, Becky Martin, said that Elvis always wanted to be a preacher. She says that in the 70s Elvis told her, "Becky, just think what I could have done if I had become a preacher! Just think of the good I could have done for the Lord!"
Elvis struggled for sure. He loved doing Gospel music, but he struggled his whole life to connect the two worlds without success.
The great thing is those of us who are believers will see Elvis again. If you missed how great he was in this life, you can meet him in the next. At least that’s what his minister step-brothers tell us. But between now and then get some of his real early stuff and you’ll see that he truly is one of the originators of roll and roll!
When David Stanley said Elvis was "going back to the Bible" he meant it. Elvis grew up in the Pentecostal church, in the Assemblies of God. He loved the music and went to many Gospel conventions. All his life he would keep "coming back to the Bible."
Question: Who was King Uzziah and how was he tied into Isaiah?
The following from Holman Bible Dictionary: UZZIA(H) (uhz zi’ uh) Personal name meaning, “Yahweh is might.” Also known as Azariah (2 Kings 15:1, 6-8, 17, 23, 27); son and successor of King Amaziah of Judah. “All the people of Judah” declared Uzziah king when he was sixteen (2 Kings 14:21; 2 Chron. 26:1). Some conjecture that the Judeans, rather than have King Joash of Israel install a puppet king, put Uzziah forward as king following Amaziah’s defeat and subsequent imprisonment by Joash (2 Chron. 25:21-24). According to this reconstruction, Uzziah began his reign about 792 B.C. and continued as joint regent after his father’s release upon the death of Joash (2 Chron. 25:25). Uzziah’s reign was a time a great material prosperity for Judah. Uzziah mounted a successful campaign against the Philistines, destroying the walls of some of their chief cities, Gath, Jabneh, and Ashdod. To secure the caravan route along the Mediterranean coast (Via Maris), Uzziah built cities, perhaps military outposts, in the vicinity of Ashdod and at other sites on the Philistine plain (2 Chron. 26:6). To secure the eastern caravan route (the King’s Highway), Uzziah rebuilt Elat (Eloth), the strategic port on the gulf of Aqaba (26:2) and campaigned against the Arabs of Gurbaal (possibly Gur east of Beersheba), the Meunites (a branch of Edomites), and the Ammonites (2 Chron. 26:7-8). Uzziah refortified the walls of Jerusalem with towers (2 Chron. 26:9; compare 25:23). His construction of numerous cisterns and military outposts in the wilderness (the Arad Negeb) made widespread settlement possible. Archaeological evidence confirms that construction in the Negeb flourished during Uzziah’s reign. Uzziah was a lover of the soil who promoted agriculture (2 Chron. 26:10). Unlike his predecessors who relied on the troops to supply their own arms, Uzziah armed his troops with the most advanced weapons (2 Chron. 26:11-15). Uzziah is not so much remembered as the leader who brought Judah to a golden age rivaling David’s and Solomon’s empires, but as the “leper king.” The brief account of Uzziah’s reign in 2 Kings 15:1-7 portrays the king as one who did what “was right in the sight of the Lord” (15:3). No explanation for the king’s affliction is given in Kings other than “the Lord struck the king” (15:5 NRSV). The Chronicler traced Uzziah’s leprosy to his prideful attempt to usurp the priestly prerogative of offering incense in the Temple (2 Chron. 26:16-20; compare Num. 16:1-40; 1 Sam. 13:8-15). Thereafter, his son Jotham reigned in his stead, though Uzziah likely remained the power behind the throne (26:21). As a leper, Uzziah was denied burial in the royal tombs at Jerusalem. Rather, he was buried in a field (26:23).
But back to Isaiah 6 and the death of the king:
About 700 years before Christ they are marching through the streets of Jerusalem yelling “THE KING IS DEAD”. King Uzziah, the eleventh King of Judah, had died. He was crowned king at the age of 16, he had reigned 52 years. Despite his shortcomings, he was the greatest king since David. He at one point offered a unholy sacrifice at about the age of 40 and was struck with leprosy until his death. The heart of Isaiah, the prophet, was most likely crushed and impacted by the death of this king of Israel. Uzziah was not only his king, but many believe he was also a friend. Uzziah paid the price for his sin of trying to take over a priestly function but for the most part historian rank him high in his devotion to the Lord and to a successful reign as king of Judah. At his death marked the rise of the Assyrian Empire and much unrest in the region. His son Jotham had been leading Judah publicly for years but in the background King Uzziah was in control.
It is said that Isaiah wrote about the life of King Uzziah in 2 Chronicles 26:22.
Phil Morgan states from sermoncentral.com the following: “In his heartbreak, Isaiah made his way to the Temple to worship and to seek comfort and renewed faith…When Isaiah went up to the House of the Lord, he learned that the king was dead . . . BUT THAT GOD WAS NOT DEAD! He was still upon His throne. Isaiah had lost his earthly king, whom he loved, but he caught a fresh glimpse of the King of Kings. He met with God in an encounter that radically changed his life.”
I. ISAIAH had a new revelation or vision of the Lord.
a. The greatest vision anyone could ever have is that of seeing the Lord God Almighty in His glorious state.
i. Verses 1-4
1. Reveal God’s nature, His divine character, His holiness and purity.
a. Morgan states: “The vision was of God high and lifted up upon His throne. He saw God as the central object of all praise, surrounded by heavenly courtiers - angelic beings - the seraphim. What a vision! Oh, that we would all have such times of encounter with God. BUT, would you note with me, it seems that it was ONLY ISAIAH who saw the glorious vision. If others were seated around him there in the Temple, THEY had no such revelation. He doesn’t write “WE saw the Lord”, he says, “I saw the Lord”. Isaiah met with God, he had a revelation of the greatness of the Lord, and it changed his life forever. The same living Lord is here tonight to meet with WHOEVER will call upon His name. EARTHLY kings may come and go - but the King of Kings is alive forever more, and just as powerful as ever He has been, and just as willing to reveal Himself to men” (Morgan, sermoncentral.com sermon “The King is dead.”)
ii. His revelation is said to be of the Lord Jesus himself according John 12:37-41.
1. Isaiah then literally saw Jesus in his glorified state!
II. ISAIAH also had a revelation of his own spiritual condition.
a. Whenever we get a true revelation or vision of the Lord we quickly discover our sinful condition and unworthiness.
b. Verse 5:
i. Verse 5 revealed to Isaiah HIMSELF as he had never quite seen himself before. He did not see himself as deserving an audience with God but rather as a sinful invader of the presence of God and totally unworthy to be in His presence.
ii. Morgan states, “He did not see himself as a good person, worthy of God’s commendation, and the praise of people. He didn’t think to himself, “WOW! I must be the best person here, because God has honored ONLY ME with a vision of Himself.” That was NOT his attitude at all. Instead he cried out: Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell among a people of unclean lips!”
iii. We are challenged in Scripture over and over to seek the presence of God to experience Him in our present day lives but can I give you a heads up this morning:
1. When we come closer to God we clearly see how serious our sins are.
2. When we compare our hearts to His there is no comparison one is pure white while the other is filled with darkness and is like the blackness of a lung filled with black lung disease.
3. When we meet God like Isaiah our sinful condition reveals itself.
III. ISAIAH had a revelation or a vision of his need for salvation.
a. Morgan states, “And I praise God for this! Oh, if all we ever see is the weakness of our sin - the depravity of our hearts - without discovering the cleansing power of God, WHAT MISERABLE PEOPLE WE WILL BE. But He DOES have power to cleanse! When Isaiah confessed his sin, God was faithful and just to forgive his sin and cleanse him from all unrighteousness.”
b. Verse 6-7:
i. They reveal the image of a live coal - a burning coal - a coal that speaks of purification and cleansing.
ii. It was released by God to the seraphim from off the altar of sacrifice and it touched Isaiah’s lips.
1. Morgan notes, “That altar that the live coal was taken from was the Altar of Burnt Offerings - it was the altar where the blood was shed. It was the place where the priests would kill those animals to pay for the sins of the people, because without the shedding of blood there is no remission (no cleansing) from sin - Hebrews 9:22 - God has declared it.So you have a coal that has been touched by two things: BLOOD and FIRE. The blood speaks of cleansing from sin (only blood can wash away our sin), and the fire speaks of refining, purifying power. The blood washes away sin, the fire brings the refining of positive holiness.”
2. Morgan adds, “Isaiah saw God’s cleansing power. The seraphim applied the blood-soaked, fire-purifying coal from off the altar and Isaiah experienced the sweet, clean feeling of forgiveness and peace. Hallelujah! Oh, there’s nothing like it in all the world! Isaiah saw the Lord, Isaiah saw himself, Isaiah saw God’s cleansing power.”
IV. ISAIAH had a revelation of the condition of the world around him.
a. Verses 8 – 9 reveal:
i. Morgan states, “A knowledge of God will make us good in all our relationships. Isaiah got in with God and he heard God’s heartbeat for a lost and dying people. He heard God’s summons for a messenger to reach out to them. God said: Whom shall I send, who will go for us? And immediately Isaiah says, HERE I AM, SEND ME!”
ii. Morgan adds, “Would God call a sinful man to preach His message? A man of unclean lips?! Friends, there are no other kind of people available to God! Yes, God calls sinners to go for Him. He has not committed His glorious gospel to sinless angels, but to fallen men.
But God sends them ONLY after they’ve been cleansed of their sins by His grace. The message of God must be spoken through purged lips. The work of God must be poured from clean vessels. YOUR PAST WILL NOT EXCLUDE YOU FROM BEING USED BY GOD: BUT HOW YOU’RE LIVING TODAY MIGHT! Yes, God can take YOU and use you for His glory - if only you’ll live for Him a cleansed, purified life.”
b. This condition of the world in which Isaiah saw is also spoken about in John 12:37-50 by Jesus and the apostle John.
Morgan adds the following thoughts: “Note: Isaiah did NOT say, “Where do you want me to go?” “What’s in it for me?” “What is the salary?” “What are the retirement benefits?” Isaiah signed a blank check on his whole life. He didn’t try to strike a bargain with God; he didn’t attempt to negotiate a compromise. God called - Isaiah answered. God commanded - Isaiah obeyed. Such an unconditional response comes only from the heart of one who has SEEN THE VISION: the one who’s MET WITH GOD… THE KING IS ALIVE! He WAS dead - He died for our sins on the cross. But He arose from the grave and He lives today - He lives forever! He calls us to see Him as He truly is - the holy God. He calls us to see ourselves as we truly are - sinful and needing Him desperately. He calls us to discover that He can cleanse from all sin, and give life anew to those who will receive Him. And then He commissions us to look on the fields of this world that are white unto harvest, and to GO and be His witnesses.
Licensing service of two new ministers of the Gospel:
Today we have two people who are responding to the call of God on their lives as did Isaiah:
The first one is Christa McCartney who is being licensed to preach and to be a missionary – she is called to Africa.
Christa please come on up!
The second person is Terry McCarthy who is called to be a pastor and we are also licensing him to preach this morning.
Terry please come up!
The charge to the two ministers:
Paul spoke these words to Timothy as his death was eminently approaching, he said:
2 Timothy 4
1In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:
2Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.
3For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
5But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
The charges that Paul hits Timothy with are: 1. To pursue the Word of God. 2. To practice the Word of God. 3. To preach the Word of God. These 3 charges from the apostle Paul are reflected in the following 4 charges to our two ministers standing here this morning.
Questions to and responses of those being licensed into the ministry:
Christa, “Do you accept the Bible as God’s inspired, infallible, inerrant, immutable, indestructible, and indispensible Word?”
Response (I do)
Terry, “Do you accept the Bible as God’s inspired, infallible, inerrant, immutable, indestructible, and indispensible Word?”
Response (I do)
Christa, do you accept this call to the Christian ministry of the Word as a call from the Lord, and do you pledge yourself to the ministry of God’s Word and to serve faithfully in this calling to the best of your ability by God’s grace and the enablement of the Holy Spirit?
Response (I do.)
Terry, do you accept this call to the Christian ministry of the Word as a call from the Lord, and do you pledge yourself to the ministry of God’s Word and to serve faithfully in this calling to the best of your ability by God’s grace and the enablement of the Holy Spirit?
Response (I do)
Christa, “Do you promise to devote yourself to the study of the Scriptures; to give careful attention to the Word of God in your personal life and in the work of the ministry; and to maintain, preach, and teach the whole counsel of God?”
Response (I do)
Terry, “Do you promise to devote yourself to the study of the Scriptures; to give careful attention to the Word of God in your personal life and in the work of the ministry; and to maintain, preach, and teach the whole counsel of God?”
Response (I do.)
Christa, “Will you give careful attention to your life and witness, being subject in your ministry to the counsel of Christian Hills Church leaders, and the Fellowship of Christian Assemblies leaders?”
Response (I will.)
Terry, “Will you give careful attention to your life and witness, being subject in your ministry to the counsel of Christian Hills Church leaders, and the Fellowship of Christian Assemblies leaders?”
Response (I will.)
Christa and Terry upon your acceptance of this charge to ministry before God and these witnesses - I pray that the Lord will enable you both to leave great spiritual legacy’s that will honor the Lord Jesus Christ. May the Lord empower you and protect you as you serve Him with your whole hearts in the work of the ministry He has called you too.
Have other leaders pray: